The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized the 4th ITU Forum on “Shaping the CitiVerse: People centred cities & virtual worlds”. The Forum took place on 4 March 2024, at the Hotel Grand Fiesta Americana, in Queretaro, Mexico.

This Forum explored the intersection of metaverse and smart cities, serving as a platform for open dialogue about ensuring smart cities and the metaverse prioritize people and integrate them seamlessly into their virtual worlds. The Forum also looked at the unique challenges and opportunities of the Latin American region to maximize the benefits of its vibrant tech sector.

The Forum was followed by the 5th meeting of the ITU Focus Group on metaverse (FG-MV) scheduled to take place from 5-8 March 2024, at the same venue. The FG-MV meeting and forum are kindly hosted by Aston Group and the Municipality of Queretaro, Mexico.

Target audience

Participation in the forum is open to ITU Member States, Sector Members, Associates, and Academic Institutions and to any individual from a country that is a member of ITU and who wishes to contribute to the work. This includes individuals who are also members of international, regional, and national organizations. Participation in this forum is free of charge.

9:00 – 9:20 Opening Ceremony

The opening remarks will feature senior representatives from the ITU and the Municipality of Queretaro, Mexico to set the context for the fourth Forum on Shaping the Citiverse: People centred cities & virtual worlds.

9:20 – 9:50 Keynote Speech: Queretaro Reborn

Questions & Answers

9:50 – 10:10 Welcome Remarks

10:10 – 10:30 Coffee Break

10:30 – 10:50 Keynote Speech: Towards the Hybrid City

Savvas will introduce a pilot research project at the London School of Economics focussing on the changing interrelationship between physical and digital spaces in cities and how this evolving interdependence informs the future trajectory of urban development at multiple scales. The explosion of this type of hybridity, the mixture of physical and digital space, will inevitably reshape urban environments and is likely to lead to the establishment of fully hybrid cities. In fact, digitalisation became an accelerating factor of the contemporary urban age: fast and reliable digital connectivity concentrated in cities is adding to their locational advantages, while a basic anthropological desire for physical travel and in-person engagement is more easily fulfilled not least due to hybridity. Do public spaces and streets in cities require updated design standards to accommodate new forms of hybrid behaviors? How should we value travel-time reductions as part of transport project appraisals when people are productive while travelling? What level of space provision for increasingly hybrid social services will still be required overall and in which locations?

Questions & Answers

10:50 – 11:00 Keynote Speech: Building the metaverse we want

Dive into the dynamic world of the metaverse and explore how the ITU is at the forefront of shaping its future through the dedicated efforts of the ITU Focus Group on metaverse and other initiatives.

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:30 Session 1: High Level Dialogue on Citiverse Visions in Latin America

Engage in a fast-paced dialogue as experts in the Latin American region share their visions, strategies, and collaborative efforts in shaping the citiverse during this energetic flash round. Gain quick but valuable snapshots of regional approaches to citiverse challenges and opportunities, as we bring together diverse perspectives to foster collaboration in building people-centered virtual cities.

Moderator: Wendy Teresa Goico Campagna, Vice-Chair, United for Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative (U4SSC)


  • Luis Bernardo Nava Guerrero, Mayor, Municipality of Queretaro, Mexico
  • Shin-Gak Kang, Chair, ITU Focus Group on metaverse
  • Per Fröjdh, Vice President International Standards, Ericsson
  • Amet Novillo, Chief Executive Officer of EQUINIX Mexico and President of the Mexican Data Centers Association – MEXDC
  • María Catalina Ovando Chico, General Director of Telecommunications and Broadcasting Policy, Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT), Mexico

12:30 – 13:00 Keynote Speech: Artificial Intelligence, the human impact on culture, productivity, creativity, design, and innovation in Latin America

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 – 15:30 Session 2: Digital Frontiers: Navigating the Digital Landscape of the Citiverse

Dive into the cutting-edge technologies in Latin America shaping the Citiverse. Learn how artificial intelligence, digital twin, IoT and virtual worlds can be harnessed to create immersive and intelligent virtual cities, and discuss the ethical considerations associated with their integration.

Moderator: Radia Funna, Futurist & Creator, xHuman Theory | Vice Chair, ITU FG-MV WG1, General and WG6, Security, Data & PII Protection


Questions & Answers

15:30 – 16:00 Closing Remarks

Related information

  • Organized by: International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • Hosted by: Aston Group and the Municipality of Queretaro, Mexico
  • Date: 4 March 2024
  • Venue: Hotel Grand Fiesta Americana, Queretaro, Mexico
  • Contact: Ms Cristina Bueti (
  • Other ITU events on metaverse